The Ancestry of Andrew Jackson Babb Revealed

The Ancestry of Andrew Jackson Babb Revealed

A recent query on the Babb Family Association Facebook Group led me to realize that I had never documented the story about how we discovered his heritage. It was first solved about 1-2 years ago as I was working with an Oregon Babb that was trying to solve the riddle of Andrew’s parents. The wild journey it took me on was quite the convoluted ride. Quite often the things I do in the tree go without notice as it often takes so much time to write up the post that I just do the work and let it go.

Today, I had to retrace my steps to explain how the connection was made. I quickly realized that I had neglected to do several things at the time of the discovery and have been documenting them in the tree to make sure I don’t have to do that again.

Today’s story is a lesson in using collateral relatives to help prove a connection. This sort of Forensic Genealogy is only necessary when you come up upon a Brick Wall relative such as Andrew Jackson Babb.

The Process

We start with a number of records relating to his funeral. Initially, I only had a transcript of the document which left out good portions of the information. I hadn’t downloaded the newspaper clippings until tonight and found a good number of documents that relate to his death and estate. They are shown below and enlighten us to the circumstances of his death but give little detail about his birth.

These are all great. but they point to Andrew being born in Kentucky. This leads to a false assumption as an Andrew J. Babb is found in Kentucky with a date of birth that is 31 years off. That Andrew was still in Kentucky in 1860 as well, so he is not a match.

If the obituary is to be believed he was born in 1827 and left home at the age of seven (approximately 1834) having supported himself from there on out. Minor’s names are not recorded in the 1830 Census, just the head of household. So, it was of little use. Moreover, what would cause someone to leave home at such a young age? Did he run away, or did some other event trigger his move.

The story, as it goes is that in 1849 Andrew took the Oregon Trail and ended up in Eugene, OR where he lived at the time of his death. There are some non-consequential details in there I’m leaving out for the sake of brevity on this very long post.

Our big break came when the member I was working with discovered a poem written by A. J. Babb (which is how Andrew was commonly known by) upon the death of his sister Waity [Waty] (Babb) Peevy.

This was discovered in one of those all-night sessions where you get desperate and resort to just looking at initials hoping to find something. Those usually come up empty handed, but this time it paid off.

Waity was already in the tree listed as the daughter of none other than the Revolutionary war hero Christopher Babb of North Carolina who is one of the top-level progenitors of the White Stags of Virginia and North Carolina.

Wanting to find further evidence to support this as the proper connection I make a close examination of Waity’s history. There is no direct evidence, such as a birth certificate for any of Christopher’s children. Record keeping appears to have been spotty in early North Carolina, that or the records were lost over time for other reasons such as Civil War courthouse fires which were plentiful.

The first record I see for Waity is in Barry County, MO where she is living with her husband Isaac Peevey. In the 1880 Census’ she listed her birthplace as North Carolina as well as that of her parents.

That is still very vague. North Carolina is a big state. So I kept digging and found this record for her husband Isaac Peevey. Where he has used Greenberry Babb as an Assignee on a Land Grant record. Both of these records are for Greenberry Babb, but Isaac’s name appears between the first and second paragraphs on the 2nd page.

Greenberry is a name that points directly to Christopher Babb. There are only 3 Greenberry Babbs in the entire forest and the other two are his nephews. The name is constantly spelled in different ways, but it appears in only one place in the world which is Wake County, NC. The now abolished county was the home of Christopher Babb!

The part that was still nagging at me was that Andrew claimed to have been born in Kentucky. This would mean that Christopher and his wife (her name is unknown) would have to have lived in Kentucky in 1827. As I examined their entries in the tree, I found that she allegedly died in Russellville, Logan County, KY. I see no record to prove that as of yet. I do see that a number of Christopher and his wife’s grandchildren took up residence there, but it appears to be well after a timeframe she would have still been living.

We still do not know the name of Christopher’s wife but given the preponderance of the available data, I have concluded that Andrew’s rightful place is with his siblings that we are able track the paper trail back to. Andrew is now the 13th child of Christopher Babb who was fatherless at the age of about 6 years old.

While reviewing Jean’s entry for Christopher I noticed that she lists a proposed father for him by the name of James. who appears in a variety of Court Cases there in the 1730s. I’ve not seen those cases yet, so I’ll have to defer on that one until another time. I also looked again in the Ancestry trees to see if someone had come up with an answer already. There are a couple of trees that show his father to be a James Babb of Gerrans, Cornwall, England. However, having already canvased Cornwall, I don’t see anyone that matches that description in the paper trail. We have yet to establish the Gerrans line with a Y-DNA test taker, so it is possible. We just can’t be certain at this time.

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